Today is Kim Bee’s birthday. You probably know Kim from her blog, Cravings of a Lunatic. That cowgirl has jockeyed her way right into my heart. I was worried that she’d be feeling pasture prime today, so I made her a cake. Try to rein in your excitement.
When making a cake for someone, you should always consider their likes and dislikes, and Kim is one picky filly. She doesn’t like pickles, seafood, or gravy – so I avoided those ingredients. (I’m just horsin’ around, of course. Most cakes don’t contain haddock! Unless you count fish cakes.) Now, Kim chomps at the bit when you mention Taco Bell, but a Tex-Mex themed cake? That ain’t gunna be winning no gallop poll anytime soon. So, I moved on to something that was bound to stirrup Kim’s emotions: horses.
Here’s Kim with her horse, Ginger:
I know. The horse isn’t ginger coloured, but neigh-sayers be darned, Kim stuck with the name. That horse, as it turns out, is one of Kim’s besties. She loves her Arabian princess, and dreams of having a wee farm where Ginger could have couple of new horse friends to play with. I actually considered buying Kim a couple of palomino pals, but it turns out that real, live horses are way expensive and fairly hard to wrap. So, I made Kim this pony-inspired cake instead.
Ginger and two new friends sit atop my most favourite cake – it seemed perfect for the occasion. I’ve written about it before – it’s an old-fashioned white cake with the perfect crumb. It tastes of vanilla and almond, butter and sugar. The ponies sit atop a floofy yard of seven-minute frosting, surrounded by a salty pretzel fence. Seven-minute frosting is the kind of icing that is best consumed on the day it is made – perfect for birthdays, as everyone should graze upon an entire cake on their special day. (Seven-minute frosting is also dairy free – I think Kim’s tummy would thank me.)
Hay, I’ve gotta bale, but I’d like to wish Kim the happiest of birthdays. A day topped with sugary stars and a light dusting of snow. I hope this year brings her balance, some dreams come true, and a whole lot of giddy-up and go…
Kim is hosting a giveaway for her birthday! Head on over to send her some birthday wishes and enter to win a sa-weet treat! (That’s a $30 Amazon gift card – open to Canadian and American residents!)
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Old Fashioned White Cake
Yields two 9-inch round baking pans.
- 3 cups cake flour, divided into 1 cup measures
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 cup butter, room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1/2 cup milk
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
Preheat oven to 350°F. Grease two 9-inch round pans and line with parchment paper. (To line with parchment paper, trace the pans on parchment paper, cut out and trim to fit in the bottom of the pan.)
In a small bowl, whisk together 1 cup of the flour, the salt and the baking powder. Set aside.
In the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed, cream the butter and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3-5 minutes). Add the milk, hot water, 1 cup of the flour and 1 egg, and mix on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and around the bottom to make sure everything is combined. Then add 1 cup of flour and 1 egg, and again, mix on medium speed until well combined. Scrape down sides and bottom of bowl.
Finally, add the flour/salt/baking powder mixture and the one remaining egg, and mix until well combined. Scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Add in the vanilla and almond extracts. Mix well to combine.
Divide the batter evenly between your two prepared baking pans. Rap the pans on the counter a few times to eliminate air bubbles. Bake for about 30 minutes or until a cake tester inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean.
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Notes: I found the recipe for seven-minute frosting on the Joy of Baking website – I didn’t change it a bit, save for the few drops of green gel paste food colouring I added for tinting. Seven-minute frosting should be used immediately and is best consumed on the day it is made. The pretzel fence is held together with royal icing, and the horses were found at my local craft store and then spray painted white. The bottle brush trees were also found at my local craft store, and the silver tree was found at Hey Yo Yo – a wonderful place to find baking treats. The surface of the cake was dusted with icing sugar, edible white sparkles and edible silver stars.